Swiss railways releases new time table: Here's what changes in 2021

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Swiss railways releases new time table: Here's what changes in 2021
New train timetable will go into effect on Sunday. Photo by AFP

From additional seats on several lines to more frequent connections, this is what you can expect on Switzerland’s trains in 2021.


Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) are introducing their new schedule from December 13th.

The 2021 timetable will provide “a number of improvements for passenger services across the whole of Switzerland”, SBB announced.

For instance, the Intercity between the Geneva airport and St. Gallen, via Lausanne, Fribourg and Bern, will have 360 additional seats to accommodate more passengers.

And on the Simplon-Lausanne-Brig line, 12 double-decker trains — six more than currently — will be in circulation.

The new timetable will also be marked by the completion of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA) after 28 years of construction.

"This level-track rail route through the Alps will enable new service offers in freight and passenger services, both nationally and internationally”, SBB said.

READ MORE: MAP: Return of night trains across Europe comes a step closer

The final stage of the project is the completion of the Ceneri Tunnel in Ticino, which will shorten travel time between French and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland.

The Lausanne – Lugano trip will last 4:14, which is 18 minutes less that previously, while the Neuchâtel – Lugano route will be reduced from 4 hours to 3:32.


Internationally, connections between Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich/Basel and Paris are set to increase from Sunday.

Trains between Switzerland and Italy will also continue, despite an earlier announcement that the two countries will suspend all rail services. 

From December 13th, two pairs of EuroCity trains will run on the Gotthard axis and two pairs on the Simplon axis.

• EC 313 dp. Zurich 07:10, arr. Milan 10:50 am
• EC 316 dp Milan 11:10, arr. Zurich 2:50 p.m.
• EC 34 dp Milan 13:05, arr. Geneva 5:21 p.m.
• EC 37 dp Geneva 07:39, arr. Milan 11:40 am
• EC 50 dp Milan 07:20, arr. Basel 11:32 am
• EC 57 dp Basel 12:28, arr. Milan 4:40 p.m.

The new timetable can be found here. 

A study released in November named the Swiss ‘European champions of train travel’. 

The study found that Swiss commuters used the rail 74 times in 2019, travelling a total of 2,505 kilometers.

In terms of distance traveled per inhabitant, Switzerland stands out clearly from other European countries.


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